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School of Diplomacy and International Relations

Diplomacy Welcomes Two New Faculty

Dr. Brandon Valeriano

Dr. Brandon Valeriano

The School of Diplomacy is excited to welcome two new professors to join starting for the Fall 2023 semester. Both Dr. Brandon Valeriano and Dr. Brendan Balestrieri bring a surplus of experience in all matters of international relations, with a particular emphasis on the role of the military and the importance of homeland security in the world of diplomacy. The School looks forward to the continued opportunities to expand student learning with our new professors.

Brendan Balestrieri, Ph.D. – Professor of Practice

Dr. Brendan Balestrieri will join the School of Diplomacy and International Relations as a Professor of Practice starting Fall 2023. As a native of New York, he is excited to be joining a school with an excellent reputation and moving a little closer to home. For the past 18 years, Dr. Balestrieri has served as an officer in the United States Army, stationed primarily in South Korea. With master's degrees in International Studies from Korea University and Public and Media Relations from Johns Hopkins University, and his Ph.D. from Korea University, Dr. Balestrieri primarily researches the intersection between the military, international relations, and policy.

As part of his new role, Dr. Balestrieri will help develop the new International and Homeland Security B.S. program, focusing on a comparative approach. The course will examine different approaches to homeland security and will also explore how cognitive biases may result in decision makers overlooking crucial issues prior to disaster, such as the Halloween crush in Seoul in 2022 and the Fukushima nuclear disaster in 2011. Additionally, the course will take a look at disaster response and the role of the military, using Typhoon Mawar, which hit Guam in 2023, as a Defense to Civil Authorities (DSCA) case study. He is looking forward to teaching International Conflict and Security, American Grand Strategy, and Comparative Homeland Security, and the possibility of eventually building a class that focuses on alliances and alignment in international relations. As he continues his own research, which includes recent publications on Korea on Point, Journal of Strategic Security, and War on the Rocks, he is interested in areas related to alliances, military reserve forces, and the parallels between North and South Korea and Ukraine and Russia.

Never before has the School had someone with actual hands-on military experience that they can apply to the development and launch of new programs. Department chair Dr. Moremen remarked, "we are excited about this opportunity to continue to bridge the gap between theory and practice, and the addition of Dr. Balestrieri helps open the door to exciting possibilities." When students enter Dr. Balestrieri's class, he says that they can expect an infusion of current events with conversations tying it to international relations theories and concepts.

Brandon Valeriano, Ph.D. – Professor

Dr. Brandon Valeriano will join the School of Diplomacy and brings with him 20 years of teaching experience. For the past several years, Dr. Valeriano has worked with the U.S. military at Marine Corps University and with think tanks. Though he enjoyed working for the U.S. government and teaching soldiers, he is excited about the opportunity to build something permanent and establish some roots.

His experience with professional military intelligence and cyber security will be an added benefit to the School as he works with Dr. Balestrieri and other faculty to help develop the International and Homeland Security B.S. program. Dr. Valeriano is also excited about building the School's cybersecurity program to include classes on macro-technology on Artificial Intelligence, drones, space, and cyber, as well as cyber conflict and strategy and policy dealing with the areas above. Because of his expertise, he has given testimony to the US Senate and the United Kingdom and Canadian Parliaments. His research focuses on cybersecurity, emergent technology, information operations, and foreign policy analysis. Because of a love for pop culture, Dr. Valeriano has also written about sports, video games, and more recently K-Pop. His most recent publication, "Cyber Operations During the Russo-Ukrainian War," published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies, focuses on the future of cyber operations and identifies several policy implications.

Department Chair Dr. Moremen remarked that the addition of Dr. Valeriano, "an internationally regarded expert on cyber, was a natural add for the School in an area of growing students' interest and demand." When entering Dr. Valeriano's class, students can expect engagement and reliability. He brings experience and actively tries to be at the forefront of research.

The School of Diplomacy is actively developing new programs to help meet the demands of the ever-changing world and prepare our students to enter the real world as changemakers. As the School moves into its 25th year, we are excited about the new additions to the staff and look forward to a great year!

Categories: Law, Nation and World

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